UK prepares for cybersecurity response amid alleged Chinese cyber attack

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Editor : Yağız Efe Parmaksız
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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announces that the U.K. is prepared to defend itself against any cyberattacks, amid growing concerns about cybersecurity threats allegedly coming from China

UK prepares for cybersecurity response amid alleged Chinese cyber attack

As worries about cybersecurity threats allegedly coming from China have grown, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said Monday that the U.K. is prepared to defend itself against any cyberattacks.

Sunak's announcement coincides with allegations of recent security breaches by hackers connected to Beijing, which prompted Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden to arrange a press conference on the purported hacks of the parliament and electoral commission.

Anticipated sanctions be imposed on those connected to the purported hacking, indicating a resolute position from the U.K. government despite intensifying hostilities.

When running for the Conservative party leadership in 2022, Sunak took a strong stance against China; but, after taking power, he has taken a more balanced approach.

He did, however, restate the government's resolve to protect the country's security, highlighting the seriousness of the challenge posed by China's perceived economic threat.

"We will always take the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our nation," Sunak said in an interview.

The gravity of the cybersecurity issue is shown by the Aug. 2021 breach of the electoral commission, which resulted in the compromising of the personal data of almost 40 million U.K. voters.

Four Members of Parliament (MPs) were called in for a security briefing after the assaults. Among them was Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith, who has been an outspoken advocate for tougher sanctions against China.

Smith, who was speaking for several U.K. legislators, suggested that the U.K.'s relationship with China be reevaluated and that the Chinese Communist Party be dealt with more pragmatically. Amid growing difficulties, the Conservative MP underlined the need to defend the international rules-based system and promote human rights.

China, meanwhile, has responded to the charges with a denial, with Lin Jian, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, disputing the claims and highlighting China's dedication to thwarting cyber dangers.

Before attributing cyber problems to any one player, Jian emphasized the necessity for objective proof and issued a warning against politicizing cybersecurity concerns.

Conflicts over access to vital British infrastructure projects, as well as conflicts over civil and human rights problems, have further soured the relationship between the U.K. and China.

Tensions between the two countries have increased as a result of incidents of suspected espionage, which include the arrest of a U.K. parliamentary researcher under the Official Secrets Act and the discovery of Chinese government operatives involved in political meddling.

China continues to deny any such actions, but the U.K. is nonetheless on guard against what it considers being hostile cyberattacks on its institutions. The stalemate between the U.K. and China highlighted the larger geopolitical issues facing the international community in an increasingly linked digital era, as the government struggles with the changing cybersecurity scenario.

Source: AFP

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